It is a well-known fact that soil is the main component of a terrestrial ecosystem, the balanced functioning of which largely depends on the soil microbiome. Today, in the urban environment, there is an unprecedented anthropogenic impact on the soil, its microbiome and the ecosystem as a whole, which can lead to disruption of their functioning. Researchers from all countries are trying to develop knowledge about the peculiarities of the functioning of the soil microbiome in urban conditions, in particular by studying its various microbial indicators. However, there is no answer to the question of which microbial indicators can most informatively reflect the functioning of urban soils and be useful in planning and improving urban areas.
SUN Lab researchers examined how “Islands of nature” save mental and physical health of city-dwellers during pandemic
International research team including SUN Lab’ scientists interviewed citizens of Moscow (Russia) and Perth (Australia) to find out what role urban green spaces played for them during the COVID-19 pandemic. It turned out that the vast majority of respondents in both cities considered contact with nature to be extremely important for mental well-being, and many of them went for walks in their free time, despite the restrictions. The results of the research, supported by a grant from the Russian Science Foundation, are published in the journal Sustainability.
SUN Lab was presented on roundtable “Green and Blue Urban Infrastructure Innovation for Northern Eurasia”
The roundtable “Green and Blue Urban Infrastructure Innovation for Northern Eurasia” took place April 19-20 in Saint Petersburg. During the event there were presented projects related to green and blue infrastructure (GBI) in Russian cities. Speakers representing academic and non-academic institutions, shared their relevant GBI experience and reflections to share. Also the factors of success and failures of such innovation projects given a variety of biophysical and socioeconomic contexts across the country were disscussed.
Last Saturday, the SUN Lab team held the first strategy session in the format of a team brainstorming session.
We discussed the concept of the Smart Urban Nature portal. This is a portal that will allow us to collect, analyze, deliver and present information about the state of urban ecosystems. Such a multifunctional open-access platform, in our opinion, will be a useful tool for different categories of users. During our session we tried to identifine these categories.
When we drink a glass of water, write in a notebook, take medicine for a fever or build a house, we do not always make the connection with forests. And yet, these and many other aspects of our lives are linked to forests in one way or another.
Forest sustainable management and their use of resources are key to combating climate change, and to contributing to the prosperity and well-being of current and future generations. Forests also play a crucial role in poverty alleviation and in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Yet despite all of these priceless ecological, economic, social and health benefits, global deforestation continues at an alarming rate.
Raising a new generation of international professionals: how SUN Lab supports young scientists in urban ecosystem study
Today the SUN Lab team is glad to recall its participation in an international project in support of young scientists in urban studies – TAURUS (Training Capacities in Agriculture and Urban Rural Interactions and Sustainable development of megacities). Starting in 2017, the project was launched in pursuit of providing international support for students who can gain new professional skills necessary for the sustainable development of large urban areas.
SUN Lab invites to the international conference “InterCarto. InterGIS 27. Geoinformation support of sustainable development of territories”
SUN Lab is among the organizers of the international conference “InterCarto. InterGIS 27. Geoinformation support of sustainable development of territories”. The conference will be held at Apatity (Murmansk region, Russia) and Nur-Sultan (Kazakhstan), August 21-27, 2021.
Download Information Letter (in English)
Download Information Letter (in Russian)
The biological component of microparticles in big cities: SUN Lab is developing research on improving air quality in urban conditions
Airborne fine dust particles (FD) are recognized as one of the most harmful pollutants to human health. The size of fine dust determines their ability to penetrate the human body, and particles less than 10 microns in size are recognized as the most dangerous. At the same time, the causes of FD toxicity are still insufficiently studied. For example, the relationship between mortality from COVID-19 and the concentration of FD in the air was shown. However, it is still not clear whether fine dust is a direct vector carrier of the virus or only exacerbates the susceptibility of the human body to the virus.
Prof. Riccardo Valentini, the head of Smart Urban Nature Lab opened the Module 6: Urban ecology of an educational program Master of Public Administration by giving a lecture “Urban Health and Green Infrastructures”.
Participants of this program, organized by SKOLKOVO Moscow School of Management, are 500 managers from 100 largest cities in Russia: mayors, deputy mayors, deputy heads of the region, chief architects. The main objective of the program is to to form leaders who will act as drivers of the development of Russian cities.
By Dr. Diana Dushkova and Prof. Maria Ignatieva
On December 17, an online webinar of the LAWN 2020 project partners was organized by Dr. Diana Dushkova, Helmholtz Center for environmental research – UFZ Leipzig, Department of Urban and Environmental Sociology; Geography Department of Humboldt University Berlin, Germany and Prof. Dr. Maria Ignatieva, School of Design, University of Western Australia.